The second day of TCAF
The second and last day of TCAF was on Sunday. I went downtown on the bus and arrived, forgetting that the library opened at 11:00 on Sundays and I would have to wait. Many events were in venues nearby, outside the library, though; at 11:30 I went to a nearby restaurant, Ristorante Fortuna, to take in Jeff Smith demonstrating his drawing and inking skills. Jeff Smith is the creator of Bone and Rasl.
What struck me about his demonstration was the simplicity of his tools. Paper. Blue pencil. Sharpener. Ink. Brush. Apart from the paper, there was nothing you can’t carry in a small case. Of course, later on, things get scanned and coloured and assembled into books in the computer.
Other people draw directly into the computer. Autodesk had a demonstration of their Sketchbook Pro software, running on systems that had Wacom Cintiq monitors attached. These are the (expensive) monitors that are also drawing tablets; you fire up your software and draw right there on the screen. It’s a lot more immediate than drawing on a tablet at the side and seeing the pointer move on a regular screen in front of you. But there’s still a gap between the point of the stylus and where the drawing is occurring in the software. I think I could get used to it though.
For me now though, it’s draw, ink, scan, and colour. Old school.
Later on, I took in a panel discussion about crowdfunding. I’d originally thought of crowdfunding as a way to solicit donations, but since crowdfunders tend to provide perks for various levels of funding, the panelists were regarding it as a kind of pre-order system. It’s clear that I’d have to do a LOT more planning before attempting it.
Then I attended a panel dicussion about “the future of comics”. This developed into quite an interesting discussion about different distribution arrangements and how the rise of self-publishing and the internet has basically knocked the props out from the old traditional distribution modfel. There was little mention of ebooks though. Perhaps that is something that Hasn’t Quite Happened yet in the comics world.
I didn’t buy much at the show. I got a print for $5 in a style I liked. I found that many of the comics were in drawing styles I wasn’t particularly fond of, seeming to me ‘primitive’ and even grotesque. Much of the works there were rather dark, and I tend to look for light, colourful work. I’ve enough darkness already, thanks.
I missed a lot, some of it unavoidable (please try not to schedule three things I want to see at the same time next time, okay?) Many of the presenters were people of roughly my age, who’d been trying to do this as a living since they left high school. It really makes me wonder what my life would have been like if I’d taken that other road after high school. But it’s never too soon to start…